This morning I woke up to the sound of our river steam-training through the town. It was the first winter storm and overnight Devon bore the brunt. Here’s a poem from my collection Fault Line I wrote about an earlier flood.
Flood river is wide as a motorway.
Lying in bed I hear it roar through town.
And later from a top floor window I see how serious
Exmoor has been in ridding itself of a thousand
rivulets and streams decanting themselves off hills.
A sheet of mud-brown satin rolls over the weir.
Was it only last week that kids played here
on this moss-covered dam?
Ankle-deep, screaming, shouting.
Now it is a different creature, a snarling beast.
Nothing gets in its way.
Riverbanks are scourged, broken bones
of trees tossed and hurried downstream.
This power draws us to its side,
gaping at the volume and speed
of this highway to the sea.
We are transfixed.
Reading into it
the chaos of our own lives,
watching years stream by.